An Appraisal of Electrodiagnostic Studies in Stiff Person Syndrome

imageA literature review was performed on the use of electrodiagnostic (EDX) tests including nerve conduction study, electromyography, exteroceptive reflex, blink reflex, and late response in the evaluation of patients with stiff person syndrome (SPS). A web survey was conducted to report the extent of EDX testing usage in the evaluation of SPS among laboratories accredited by the American Academy of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine. Coactivation of selected agonist and antagonist muscles was performed in 5 healthy subjects to determine its specificity for SPS. Observation of continuous motor unit activity on electromyography and elicitation of exteroceptive reflexes by electric stimulation are informative in assisting a diagnosis of SPS, but further studies focusing on their sensitivities in diagnosing SPS and specificities in differentiating SPS from other movement disorders are needed. The value of EDX testing in SPS lies in ruling out other neuromuscular disorders.

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